My WoW experiment in a more hardcore guild concluded after 20 months when I left the guild on Christmas Day. A whole lot of overlapping things made me come to my senses and realise I needed to get out before I began to resent raid nights and the efforts of the guild officers, and sour the wonderful WoW raiding experience forever. It had always disconcerted me that when 25 people would join the Ventrilo chat channel, it would just be totally silent (as it they had stage fright). The truth was that mostly they hadn’t formed many friendships and had little to say to each other. In over a year and a half, I barely got to know more than 3-4 people, which I find astounding for a game I played twice a week for 3 hours a go. Having been in other guilds that were not like that at all, I realised it was this guild that had the problem – or more specifically, I HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT.
Most frustrating for me was the fact that a few of the core members (excluding the guild leader) tended to whine a lot, blame others (or Blizzard) and had poor attitudes in general. I want to be with positive people who aren’t frothing or finger pointing in Healer Chat, or who start telling other players how to play their class “It’s pretty easy really, I just….” etc. When some long term players gradually left I found myself thinking – I’m now one of the longest term members, and I don’t even really like the other long termers much – yikes!
The guild leader was quite nice however the structure always seemed to bottleneck through her, and when she was flagging in enthusiasm, everything suffered – recruiting, the website, the positivity. I don’t think she ever quite realised that the high turnover of players might be partly because of the way the guild was run, or some of the people in it, driving others away. She tried so hard to keep things going that I have a huge respect for her tenacity, but it probably won’t be enough to save the guild in a 25 man format. I raided with some amazing players, but I left feeling like it was a bit souless in the end. So many of the stalwarts would not talk on the mike for whatever reason, so in the end people wouldn’t give much back in return.
My old guild already has a 10 man raid team with spares in the wings, so I joined theoldergamers.net and got a 10 man spot in one of their teams. There is an immediate difference in maturity and in how they relate to each other, even if their progression is fairly poor. It is very reassuring. I’m not saying I will be there forever, but next time, before I commit to competitive raiding again, I want the guild structure and culture to be a lot better than what it was in my last guild. Sadly, you often have to join a guild to find this out.